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                 IMDEA Food Headquarters in Carretera de Cantoblanco 8. Madrid.

Madrid, a place for science and technology: The IMDEA project

The IMDEA (Madrid Institute of Advanced Studies) network was constituted by the Comunidad de Madrid within the framework of the IV Regional Plan of Scientific Research and Technological Innovation (PRICIT) whose motto is: Madrid, a place for science and technology: The aim is to situate Madrid among the most competitive regions of Europe and those with a greater level of well-being in the general population.

IMDEA is a tool of scientific policy of the Regional Government to meet the challenges of the future. It is based on efficient and socially responsible institutions, with a new model of transfer of knowledge to attain a high degree of sustainable development: productivity, competitiveness, employment, creation of wealth and social welfare.

The IMDEA program aims to help create in Madrid a pole of attraction for talent for researchers and entrepreneurs from around the world. Its basic tenets are research of international excellence in certain strategic areas through multidisciplinary and international groups composed of top-level scientists, to respond to the needs of society and to support economic development through strategic alliances with companies.

With IMDEA the Government of the Comunidad de Madrid seeks to respond to its commitment to place science and technology at the service of its citizens. Led by the Consejería de Educación, Juventud y Deporte and with the support of the Consejería de Economía y Hacienda, it is a project of the entire Government of the Comunidad de Madrid.

Between 2007 and 2014, the IMDEA Food Institute has defined its sphere of activity, configured its governing bodies and management and administration procedures; it has created its infrastructure, has developed a work force with sufficient critical mass, has begun to place publications in international scientific databases, has registered its first patents, has achieved a 27% rate of self-financing and has begun to be known, especially in the region of Madrid. All of this within the Instituto Madrileño de Estudios Avanzados (IMDEA) program, under the auspices of the Consejería de Educación, Juventud y Deporte of the Comunidad de Madrid and with the constant support and high level of funding from the Regional Government.

With the transition of the century and the millennium into the era of the 2000s, Food Sciences have undergone a major shift. Supported by the technological development of the 20th century and significant breakthroughs in Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biomedicine, Nutrition has transitioned from studying the essential needs of the human body to being the science of knowledge of the molecular mechanisms of action and of nutrients for the prevention and improvement of disease. Today there are tools such as genomics, metabolomics, proteomics or microbiomics which enable us to address scientific challenges in the field of food-health which were inconceivable only a decade ago.  

Within the context of high rates of morbidity in chronic diseases in which food is a key factor in both their onset and progression, combined with a food industry sector in Spain presenting obvious shortcomings of innovation in a world of strong international competitiveness, society needs the results of food R&D. The foundational mandate of the IMDEA Food Institute states that its main mission is to offer society the latest developments in nutrition and food and health research and to contribute to the development and well-being of the population.

 

Guillermo Reglero

Director of IMDEA Food Institute